assalam u alaikum
why when someone is praying we cant walk infront them?
why cant muslims stretch their foot to the east?
why do we have to place something in front us when we praying?
Wa Alaikum as Salaam,
As Muslims, we have been ordered to accept and practice upon the teachings which have been given in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAS). With respect to not walking in front of a praying person, this is clearly evident in an authentic tradition recorded by Imam Bukhari. It tells us that one must not walk in front of a person who is performing Salaah. Walking in front of the person disturbs him and also causes a distraction. On account of this, one’s devotion and attention to Salaah is gravely affected. It is in order to avoid this from occurring, the Prophet (SAS) has emphasized to the performers of Salaah to place something in front of them while performing Salaah. (Bukhari). This is called a Sutrah and it tends to create a barrier between the performer of Salaah and a passer-by. By having this, it saves one from being distracted and affected by those walking in front of him (while in Salaah).
The east is the direction in which the Kaaba is situated, and so, the easterly direction for us is the Qiblah. This is the direction in which Muslims are ordered to face while performing Salaah. This direction (of the Qiblah), due to the fact that it is the direction of the Holy Kaaba, is a very respected and honored direction. It is for this reason, the Prophet (SAS) has prohibited Muslims from turning their front or back towards the Qiblah while urinating or defecating. Hence, Muslims are not allowed to build toilets facing the Qiblah. There are also authentic traditions in which one has been prohibited from spitting in the direction of the Qibla (which for us, in this country, is the east). Hence, it is on account of the great respect and reverence that must be shown towards the Qiblah, many of the Islamic jurists and scholars have stated that one should not stretch his feet towards the Qiblah. As mentioned before, the direction of the Qiblah for us in Trinidad is the east. So, this is why you hear about not stretching one’s foot to the east.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Wseem Khan